About the Object

Name: Cas A
Distance: 11000 light years
Category: MIRI

Cassiopeia A (MIRI Image, Annotated)

Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is a supernova remnant located about 11 000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia. It spans approximately 10 light-years. This new image uses data from Webb’s Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) to reveal Cas A in a new light.

On the remnant’s exterior, particularly at the top and left, lie curtains of material appearing orange and red that are due to emission from warm dust. This marks where ejected material from the exploded star is ramming into surrounding circumstellar material. 

Interior to this outer shell lie mottled filaments of bright pink studded with clumps and knots. This represents material from the star itself, and likely shines by the light produced by a mix of heavy elements and dust emission. The stellar material can also be seen as fainter wisps near the cavity’s interior.

A loop represented in green extends across the right side of the central cavity. Its shape and complexity are unexpected and challenging for scientists to understand.

This image combines data from various filters, with the colour red assigned to 25.5 microns (F2550W), orange-red to 21 microns (F2100W), orange to 18 microns (F1800W), yellow to 12.8 microns (F1280W), green to 11.3 microns (F1130W), cyan to 10 microns (F1000W), light blue to 7.7 microns (F770W), and blue to 5.6 microns (F560W). The data come from the general observer program 1947.

[Image description: A roughly square image is rotated clockwise about 45 degrees. Within the image is a circular-shaped nebula with complex structure. On the circle’s exterior lie curtains of material glowing orange. Interior to this outer shell lies a ring of mottled filaments of bright pink studded with clumps and knots. At center right, a greenish loop extends from the right side of the ring into the central cavity. Translucent wisps of blue, green, and red appear throughout the image.]


NASA, ESA, CSA, D. Milisavljevic (Purdue University), T. Temim (Princeton University), I. De Looze (UGent), J. DePasquale (STScI)

About the Image

Id: weic2311b
Type: Collage
Release date: 7 April 2023, 16:00
Related releases: weic2311
Size: 4149 x 5240 px

Image Formats

Large JPEG
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